Corgi puppies! They’re all the rage these days. It seems like every other person I see on social media wants to or just got a new Corgi puppy.
And it’s understandable. These guys are kee-yooot. Their little round bums bring light to our dreary social media feeds and life seems like it would just be better with a Corgi.
I’m writing this post today because we get asked pretty often where and which breeder we got Chibi from. (That’s right, pretty much no one is asking me where I got my American Eskimo ?). I see people ask other Corgi accounts all the time, “Which breeder is he from?” “Where can I find a Corgi puppy in California?”
Before we get into everything, this is a post about Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are a completely different breed, and although they have similar physical features to Pembrokes, they have different temperaments. Any breeder who is selling a Pembroke x Cardigan mix is selling a mutt, not a purebred Corgi. And there’s nothing wrong with mixed breed dogs! Just don’t be duped by those who are selling them as purebred dogs. If you’re interested in a Cardigan, check out their parent club, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy at all to find a well-bred, healthy Corgi puppy. To do so, you should give yourself at least a year of research and preparation before expecting to take a puppy home. Maybe even two years depending on which reputable breeders are having litters that year.
The majority of Corgi breeders out there seem to be backyard breeders or puppy mills, cashing in on the recent popularity of the breed. Take it from someone who got a puppy from poor bloodlines — you do not want to buy a puppy from a backyard breeder. Chibi is one of those backyard breeder puppies, so I hope what I share today will help future Corgi owners be more prepared when looking for the dog of their dreams. It’s not to say those puppies don’t deserve homes or that I regret getting Cheebs, and this is not a post about adoption vs. purchasing. This is a post for those who are interested in bringing a new puppy into their home and are wondering what’s the best way to find one from a breeder.
Why is it especially important to get a healthy Corgi?
Poorly bred Corgis tend to come with a slew of issues, if not during puppyhood definitely during adolescence and adulthood. Because of their stature, they are very prone to orthopedic issues – way more so than regularly proportioned dogs.
We’ve shared our experiences with Chibi being diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at just 1 year old, a condition that results from poor genetics and conformation. The long term downside of having an unhealthy dog means you’re paying ten times or even more what you did for the puppy. We’ve spent money on three surgeries, approximately $1000/month on rehab, and countless vet visits and health exams. We’ve also heard of backyard breeder puppies coming home infested with fleas and with congenital defects or infections.
The worst part is seeing your dog unhealthy or in pain. It makes me so sad that Chibi cannot come on hikes with us or romp at the beach at a doggy playdate. It’s just not the life a dog deserves to live.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis: the breed standard
Because there are so many backyard breeder Corgis out there these days, it’s hard for people to even recognize what a Corgi is supposed to look like! I was guilty of this when looking for my puppy — I couldn’t tell the difference between most dogs and ended up inadvertently supporting a breeder who was not dedicated at all to the breed or her dogs.
For example, the two dogs on below barely look like they’re the same breed. Yet they’re both from “purebred Corgi breeders.”
Our friend Geordi @lacorgi is from a reputable breeder, and take a look at his features. Rounded ears, straight and stumpy legs, and a straight top-line, meaning the back is not roached or curved.
Chibi has pointier ears and her front legs sometimes turn outwards (as a result of her poor conformation and need to compensate for her weak legs). Her back legs also rotate inwards rather than being straight. Thankfully Chibi has a nice straight top-line, because she’s already a handful of problems as it is!
Some of you might be thinking, “Sure, well I don’t want a show-quality Corgi. I’m not going to be participating in conformation.” That’s totally fine! But there are ways to get non-show Corgis that are healthy too. Issues resulting from poor conformation can lead to health problems that are preventable if you get a well-bred dog.